Barry Bonds was found of guilty of one count of obstruction of justice, while the jury failed to return a verdict on all of the other counts charged against him, which makes no sense at all.

From Craig Calcaterra of HardBall Talk:

I’m not entirely sure how the jury could logically conclude that Bonds obstructed justice but not also conclude that he lied about the three specific topics for which he was accused of perjury.  There were no allegations of any other acts of obstruction beyond his testimony. He didn’t destroy evidence, for example.  If you have him for obstruction, how do you not have him on everything?  What possible act beyond lying — which the jury is saying they can’t agree on — can they convict him of obstruction?

Bonds will have a status update hearing on May 20th, at which time a sentencing date will be decided.

From BALCO founder Victor Conte:

This verdict absolutely makes no sense to me. Of all of these counts, the one that makes the least sense to me is the obstruction charge. Tell me how there was obstruction of justice. This is all about the selected persecution of Barry Bonds. This is not fair. I was the heavy in this. I accepted full responsibility and the consequences and went to prison. How is that obstruction? Doesn’t make sense. The whole idea of committing perjury, and lying to the grand jury makes no sense. In my opinion, the overall majority of the athletes who testified in the BALCO case committed perjury. There were the things that the majority of the athletes said that simply were not true.

Bonds faces up to ten years in prison on the obstruction conviction, but the actual sentencing is almost certainly going to be far less and end in something like home confinement and an ankle bracelet at worst.

David Fucillo has some of the details on the counts that are considered a mistrial:

On count two, which dealt with injections (of any substance) by anybody other than a Giants trainer or Bonds physicians, the jury voted 11-1 for a guilty verdict. The lone holdout felt that Kathy Hoskins was not sufficiently credible.

On count one the jury was voting 9-3 for acquittal. This count dealt with Bonds saying he wasn’t sure whether what he was taking was any kind of steroid. There’s no word on where the jury was as to count three.

Comments (5)

  1. “I’m not entirely sure how the jury could logically conclude that Bonds obstructed justice but not also conclude that he lied about the three specific topics for which he was accused of perjury. There were no allegations of any other acts of obstruction beyond his testimony. He didn’t destroy evidence, for example. If you have him for obstruction, how do you not have him on everything? What possible act beyond lying — which the jury is saying they can’t agree on — can they convict him of obstruction?”

    Logically, I don’t see the problem. If the jury saw the three perjury charges as at least partially disconnected, they could see each as not meeting the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”, but in the aggregate be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he lied in at least one of the instances. I would suggest that there is a legal problem here, though. Essentially, they jury is convicting on no specific act of wrongdoing. The “we know he’s guilty, but not sure what exactly he’s guily of” principle is inimical to the proper administration of justice. The American system of justice, and particularly the use of very broad obstruction of justice charges contributes to the conviction of accused individuals on the basis of jury dislike. The sentences associated with obstruction convictions are nothing to laugh at either – Conrad Black. is serving 7 years for a single obstruction conviction.

  2. Seems to me like they couldn’t figure out a way to find him guilty of perjury (not nearly enough evidence), so they took the out of obstruction of justice.

    Barry will appeal, right?

  3. Just throwing it out there, because I honestly believe it: #racism

  4. @Travis – Not disputing you, but how about the gov’t hard on for Clemens then?

  5. Guaranteed he doesn’t get attacked the way Bonds did…Guaranteed. He’s already received far better treatment in the media. Giambi and McGwire lied too…they seem to be doing mostly okay.

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